A new study shows that a 3-hour work day may be better for productivity

With more of us checking work emails at all hours of the day and night, it’s no secret that we want to know how to optimize our 9-to-5 grind. But one survey just presented a startling observation, potentially revealing that a three-hour work day may be better for productivity.

Results from a new study in the U.K. just dropped a major truth bomb about the average office worker’s day, revealing that employee productivity averages just two hours and 53 minutes per day.

Yowza. The study conducted by VoucherCloud polled 1,989 full-time office workers from the U.K. to research work day habits and how they’re actually spending their time, and it turns out many of us spend a lot of time at work not actually working.

Participants were first asked one big question: “Do you consider yourself to be productive throughout the entire working day?” — and a whopping 79% admitting that they’re not.

The study then looked at what workers are actually doing with those precious eight hours, with the top 10 responses including:

  1. Checking social media – 47%
  2. Reading news websites – 45%
  3. Discussing out-of-work activities with colleagues – 38%
  4. Making hot drinks – 31%
  5. Smoking breaks – 28%
  6. Text/instant messaging – 27%
  7. Eating snacks – 25%
  8. Making food in office – 24%
  9. Making calls to partner/ friends- 24%
  10. Searching for new jobs – 19%

It seems that aside from checking those Facebook feeds and sending memes to your pals, office workers spend a serious amount of the work day (up to 25 minutes) preparing and enjoying coffee, snacks, and meals. Hey, we’re not judging — there’s simply no way we could get through the work day without a cup of java and the latest puppy videos.

Besides, taking a break to get up from your desk and get some fresh air (as well as eating enough) is crucial for our mental and physical well-being. But this doesn’t change the fact that many workers are using less than half their work day for, you know, actual work. 

Only time will tell if the world will start changing its eight (plus)-hour work day to fit the realities of human productivity. However, we don’t see the eight-hour work day disappearing any time soon, especially since modern demands on workers seem to only increase.

It’s still a relief to know we’re not the only ones getting distracted by group chats and cat memes.